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Tibetan singing bowls produce a binaural tone which is claimed to be conducive to deep meditation. However, if you are meditating you would need someone to play it for you or you'd need to listen to a recording. The former is not always available and the latter doesn't have the same effect.

Is there a practice of using tibetan singing bowls for solo meditation? Is it effective to play and meditate at the same time?

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Traditionally, both Tibetan as well as Far East meditation masters, use singing bowl as a gong to mark beginning and end of meditation session. In a Korean Zen school I attended, the bowl is struck three times, in the beginning and at the end, with an oddly very slightly longer pause between the second and third strike. Tibetan Dzogchen master I once meditated with, striked the bowl once in the beginning and once at the end. The exact way the bowl is hit is an expression of the enlightened mind. Listening to how exactly the master strikes the bowl can show one the way to enlightenment. Trying to do it oneself, makes very obvious the lack of one's zen realization. During the meditation itself the bowl is not used, as meditation pretty much requires getting bored, so playing with the bowl would be too much entertainment.

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I don't think they were asking about a gong (which is stricken) they were asking about a bowl (which is rubbed circularly to produce a resonant tone). Also, if you believe that focusing on the precise number of times and/or way the bowl is being hit in order to "find the way to enlightenment" or that you have to "get bored" to properly meditate then I believe you have lost the plot.

If there is no one to produce the tone for you, then you just have to improvise by sitting as relaxed as you can while ringing the bowl in front of you, or even taking a slow and calm stroll while producing the tone yourself. It is far less about the mechanics or "rules" of meditation than it is about your state of mind, here and now.

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